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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I recently replaced my upper and lower wishbones on my 'X' reg 2.0l T.spark using cheap aftermarket unbranded wishbones (I know I'm an idiot for doing this!), I never atempted this before and took me several hours to do, along with anti-roll bar links and track rod ends, since completion of the work I have had problems with the uncomfortable ride and the increase of ride height which I have noticed, apart from this one of the top wishbones is starting to knock after only 2 months! I am going to carry out the work I already done with branded wishbones from alfaworkshop, can anyone shed some light on any obvious procedures to follow when replacing wishbones of this sort? I'm scratching my head on weather its the cheap aftermarket unbranded parts, or I have not followed a certain procedure compromising the ride height and comfort, or weather the shocks have gone.
Many thanks!
Chris.
 

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branded are fine. If you want to use aftermarket then the delphi ones are the best and last just as long. Ebay ones are a bit naff. Top wishbones are easy peasy.

Wheel off
Undo 17mm nut on upper wishbone
Undo long bolt from shock fork bottom to lower wishbone.
disconnect anti roll bar link from shock
undo long bolt which holds upper wishbone to top mount
undo the two nuts which hold the shock and top mount to the strut tower.
pull shock with top mount down as far as you can which should give you just enough clearance to pull the long upper wishbone bolt out.
Refit in reverse :)

As fro poor ride. Did you track the car after doing the work? You may find poor road handling and comfort as the cars is all on the p*** and not driving straight. You should do this every time you take the suspension apart
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi, yes I did get 4 wheel tracking and geometry done, the tracking was +7 degrees out!and then corrected to -0.20 degrees, soon as I had this done I noticed huge improvement in handling, the handling is fine, its just going over rough roads and potholes it tends to crash and sudder when going over them, I did get the german manufactured meyhr anti-roll bar links which were considerably thicker than alfa origionals, could this contribute in rough ride? Although I can't explain the excessive ride height. I did read that then taking off/ putting on new bottom wishbones that you have to have the other side jacked up due to the roll bar, and jack up the wishbone itself slightly I found to allign the wishnone sub-frame bolts. What is the measured space between the top wheel arch to top of the wheel? Given I have sports pack option fitted on my car giving 30mm lower from standard on 16" tyres. Thanks
 

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I think the rougher ride is beacuse the bushes are all tight again rather than being all sloppy like they were. Dunno about the ride height though ?
 

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Chris_GTA: You should really get the tracking set to parallel/0 at the front. That's the proper recommended sport setting and best for lowered cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That makes sence @Joss for the ride comfort, I guess new wishbone bushes are harder when new, doesn't help the fact its winter and the cold makes the rubber harder, I checked the owners guide manual for the tracking, and the sports pack option wheel geometry marked (*) in the book says thetoe in angle, I can't remember off the top of my head what it is, but the place I had it done used their own database of wheel geometry data (which I thought was a bit misleading). But I can't resolve the ride height, maybe its linked to new/ stiff wishbone bushes, but it doesn't look like a 156 with sports pack option suspension at all! Thanks for the help guys, I will replace the cheap nasty cheap wishbones (that I got off eBay) and see how they settle in when its a bit warmer climate. :)
 

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My GTA is supposed to be set with tow out but all it does is scrub tyres in no time. Set it to 0 and it's been fine ever since. Done the same to my SW too which is lowered 60mm tand that has been great on tyres since :)
 

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top wishbones dont knock the creak, it check your drop links are tight....they knock like hell if not done up hyper tight as the rollbar puts a lot of stress on them

hope u coated top wishbone bushes with silicone grease to help em live longer too......really does work, not doing this lets water back in real quick and kills em.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, a few weeks after I had done the work I took apart what I had done on the right hand side, when splitting the ball joint on the top wishbone I split the rubber gator slightly, this has now let water in the split and into the ball joint making it knock, when re-assembling I did remember to grease the rubber bushes this time, this made a bit of difference, yeah I did do the anti-roll bar links tight, I just need to be careful now not to damage the work I already done previous now I am going to replace my top wishbone.
 

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Well, a few weeks after I had done the work I took apart what I had done on the right hand side, when splitting the ball joint on the top wishbone I split the rubber gator slightly, this has now let water in the split and into the ball joint making it knock, when re-assembling I did remember to grease the rubber bushes this time, this made a bit of difference, yeah I did do the anti-roll bar links tight, I just need to be careful now not to damage the work I already done previous now I am going to replace my top wishbone.
dont use a splitter!!!
use a drift and a lump hammer, easier with a hand from someone.... a long pry bar under the arm and lifted while u hit the part where the pin of the balljoint passes throug wth the drift and hammer......the shock will eventualy do the job.

i dont own a splitter i use the above method all the time, never fails.....can take quite a few hits sometimes though !!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah I tried hitting the threaded pin that connects to the hub and flattened the thread off! Making it a no no for the nut to go back on, I fixed this by hacksawing the fudged bit off (only 2 or 3 mm). But yeah the splitter is guaranteed to fudge the wishbone rubber gator on removal, guess its only suitable only if your replacing that wishbone,
I might invest in a sicissor type ball joint separator which uses a hinge action to push the ball joint thread out.
 

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Just hit the top part of the hub carrier with a big hammer and it will split eventually. When I used to work on my 156 on the driveway on Sunday mornings feeling a bit fragile, I would put a block of wood on top of the brake disc, and then put the scissor jack on top of that, and wind it up so it was pushing up on the nut which was just on the last couple of threads of the upper wishbone. Wind the jack up to give upwards pressure on the wishbone and downwards pressure on the hub, and then just a light tap on the top of the hub carrier was enough to split the ball joint. Worked everytime for me, and I never split any boots or damaged threads, nor did I need to buy any tools :)
 

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chris u dont hit the pin!!
u hit the thick part of the hub assembly it passed through the long arm the goes up to the top wishbone, u never ever hit the threaded bit, or the balljoint, the sideways shock eventualy pops the taper shaft out

sorry if u dont know wot i mean hard to explain in words...but i got the whole hub assembly of without use of a spliter and damaged nothing
 
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